Our Greatest Influence Is On Those We Love

Tonight’s Second Sunday Family Dinner theme was Portuguese food. YUM!

Here’s my concern about this post. It’s that I’m afraid I’ve written it in a way that makes it sound like the good things that happened today were a result of my own ability, when that is the furthest thing from the truth. Most of what I said and did today as I substituted for the regular teacher in the adult Sunday school class was not planned ahead. I studied the stories from the Book of Judges in the Old Testament and then helped to direct a gospel conversation around the idea of how those we choose to spend time with influence us the most.

I introduced the lesson by talking about the idea that we become like the five people we spend the most time with. We discussed who some of those people might be who influence us, either in real life, or through books or the media. It was a good conversation. One person pointed out that she had heard this before and decided that if she wanted to become like Jesus, she needed to make sure she spent time every day studying his words.

On my daughter, Meigi’s, recommendation, I had Mr. Hot Stuff (I don’t call him that at church) tell the story of Gideon’s army of 300 in Judges 6-8.

“12 And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him (Gideon), and said unto him, The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. 13 And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt? but now the Lord hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.” Judges 6:12–13 https://www.lds.org/scriptures/ot/judg/6?verse=12-13&lang=eng#p12

This is a powerful story about believing and trusting God, and the class ate it up. 😊 It was a beautiful moment. But it was stunning how strong the Holy Spirit was when, after the story was done, I told them that when Meigi heard I was teaching this lesson, she said, “Oh, Mom, you have to have Dad tell the story of Gideon. He does it so well. I can never read that story without hearing his voice.”

As I told the class this, I was suddenly overwhelmed with a realization that I immediately pointed out to the class,

that if we were going to consider the power of influencers and how we could become an influencer, we should consider how God could take a small thing like storytime with our children and turn it into something where now, when our adult children read their favorite stories in the scriptures, they hear their father’s voice, and remember his testimony.

What a blessing it was for me to have that realization today, and what a privilege it is to be married to a man who has never hesitated to share his love of the Lord and the scriptures with our family.

4 comments

  1.  “those we choose to spend time with influence us the most.” I like that part…and if we want the Lord’s influence, we need to spend time with him. Very good thoughts…and good reminders. I needed them.

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